News Center

Seeing the Big Picture in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

Through the miracle of photosynthesis, plants absorb sunlight in their leaves and convert the photonic energy into chemical energy that is stored as sugars in the plants’ biomass. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

Berkeley Lab scientists have created the first computational model that simulates the light-harvesting activity of thousands of antenna proteins that would interact in the chloroplast of an actual leaf. The results point the way to improving the yields of food and fuel crops, and developing artificial photosynthesis technologies for next generation solar energy systems.

Nanocarriers May Carry New Hope for Brain Cancer Therapy:

3HM nanocarriers for brain cancer therapy

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a new family of nanocarriers, called “3HM,” that meets all the size and stability requirements for effectively delivering therapeutic drugs to the brain for the treatment of a deadly form of cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.

It Takes a Thief

The overall architecture of Cas1–Cas2 bound to protospacer DNA with line segments that indicate DNA lengths spanning a total of 33 nucleotides.

The discovery by Berkeley Lab researchers of the structural basis by which bacteria are able to capture genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological system holds promise for studying or correcting problems in human genomes.

Cellular Contamination Pathway for Plutonium, Other Heavy Elements, Identified

From left to right, Rebecca Abergel, Stacey Gauny, Manuel Struzbecher-Hoehne, and Dahlia An. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

Unlocking the Rice Immune System

Rice is a staple for half the world’s population and the model plant for grass-type biofuel feedstocks (Photo courtesy of IRRI)

JBEI, UC Davis and Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. Rice is not only a staple food, it is the model for grass-type advanced biofuels.

Unravelling the Mysteries of Carbonic Acid

When gaseous carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, its hydrophobic nature carves out a cylindrical cavity, setting the stage for the proton transfer reactions that produce carbonic acid.

Berkeley Lab researchers report the first detailed characterization of the hydration structure of carbon dioxide gas as it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid. Though carbonic acid exists for only a fraction of a second, it imparts a lasting impact on Earth’s atmosphere and geology, and on the human body

Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment

Peidong feature image

By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, a potentially game-changing new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.

Possible New RNA Engineering Tool

Eva Nogales feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that complexes of proteins touted for their potential use as a tool for editing DNA might also serve as an engineering tool for RNA, the molecule that translates DNA’s genetic instructions into the production of proteins.

Turn the Light On: A Non-visual Opsin Could Help Future Studies of the Brain and Central Nervous System

Udi Zebrafish

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a light-sensitive opsin protein that plays a surprising and possibly critical role in neuron maturation and circuit formation in the central nervous system.

Metabolic Path to Improved Biofuel Production

Jamie Cate feature 1

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute have found a way to increase the production of fuels and other chemicals from biomass fermented by yeast without the need of environmentally harsh pre-treatments or expensive enzyme cocktails.